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Astro Physics Star 12 ED

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#1 John Huntley

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 06:54 PM

There is an AP Star 12 ED for sale on this side of the pond, which is a rarity.

While I'd love to own something with the pedigree of the AP, I currently have a Skywatcher ED120 Pro with a Moonlite focuser which, while nowhere near the same league as the AP in terms of build quality and class, for want of a better word, is a fine scope optically, or so it seems to me.

To purchase the AP Star 120 ED would cost me around 3x as much as the ED120 cost and I'd eventually need to sell the ED120 to offset some of the cost of the Star 12 ED.

I'm tempted by the prospect of owning something with the prestige of the AP but, from what I've read, it seems likely that the performance of the two scopes (the Star 120 ED and the Skywatcher ED120) could be fairly similar.

Is that a realistic assessment or have I missed something ?

I'm a visual astronomer and don't image with my scopes so the performance I'm referring to would be visual.

I'd be grateful for any feedback on the AP Star ED, especially from someone who also has tried a Skywatcher ED120 :)

Thanks.

#2 stevew

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:12 PM

it seems likely that the performance of the two scopes (the Star 120 ED and the Skywatcher ED120) could be fairly similar.

Is that a realistic assessment or have I missed something ?


Thanks.

I believe your assessment is correct. While the AP may have a better figure, it is most likely not made with the modern glass and coatings that has the color free properties of the FPL53 that is in your Skywatcher.
If your just looking for a scope with prestige then buy the AP, if you are more interested in what is seen in the eyepiece then stick with the 120 you have.
Check out the thread below.

Link
Steve

#3 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:35 PM

it seems likely that the performance of the two scopes (the Star 120 ED and the Skywatcher ED120) could be fairly similar.

Is that a realistic assessment or have I missed something ?


Thanks.

I believe your assessment is correct. While the AP may have a better figure, it is most likely not made with the modern glass and coatings that has the color free properties of the FPL53 that is in your Skywatcher.
If your just looking for a scope with prestige then buy the AP, if you are more interested in what is seen in the eyepiece then stick with the 120 you have.
Check out the thread below.

Link



Wait just a minute here - "modern glass"? Newer yes, better no.

Roland Christen commented on this years ago. The glass used in the Star12 (KzF2) went out of production due to "environmental concerns". More often than not, "eco-friendly" products represent a step backwards in performance (otherwise, they would have been used from the start). RC found modern replacements rather wanting - apparently KzF2 could hold a better figure. See his Yahoo Refractor Group post dated October 9, 2007 for more details.

#4 stevew

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:54 PM

As Jeff is an actual owner of an AP Star12 I defer to his expertise... :bow:

Although at 3 times the price I'm not sure you will see 3 times better images.

#5 BarrySimon615

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:30 PM

See this -
link

It is my head to head under the stars test comparing the Star 12ED to a new Orion EON 120.

In a nutshell, both scopes were excellent, the AP seemed to have just a tic better resolution, yet the EON 120 seemed to have more moments of fleeting observation of the 6th member of the Trapezium. Maybe this was attributable to coatings, but it could have also been because the objective on the EON 120 was new and very clean while the Star 12ED could have used a cleaning. I don't know for sure, but it is a possibility. Since this comparison, I have upgraded the focuser on the Star 12ED to the AP/FeatherTouch 2.7" model, a big improvement over the original single speed focuser.

These scopes are close in performance. Having either, I would not opt for the other unless the most unbelievable deal of the century is staring you in the face. Keep what you have unless your heart is set on obtaining an AstroPhysics.

Barry Simon

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#6 Mark9473

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 02:06 AM

Post deleted by Mark9473

#7 KWB

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 02:46 AM

How to shorten a link

#8 BarrySimon615

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 08:14 AM

Just reading between the lines.....hey, please someone let me know how to shorten the link and I will comply. I have never had to shorten a link so let me know how. I will gladly edit my post so a whole line can fit within the margins here.

Regards,

Barry Simon

#9 Cotts

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 08:37 AM

Here ya go, Barry.

1. Copy the link's URL
2. Open a new post (if you're starting a thread) or a 'reply' if you're in a thread already.
3. See the "Instant UBB Code" box immediately below the window where you type. Click on "URL". Paste the URL in that box. Then click Return.
4. A second dialog box appears. Type a short, suitable phrase or word here (such as 'here', or 'this' or....). This word/phrase will appear in your post in underlined green and will be the link eveyone clicks on. click return.

Dave

#10 BarrySimon615

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 08:50 AM

Thanks Dave!

I had already figured it out before I read your post as instructions are found in the 1st post in the Refractors Forums. I did my part, now it is up to the other guys with long links to shorten theirs so that the whole thread has shortened lines.

Barry Simon

#11 Starhawk

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:40 AM

Just a point in the favor of the Star12: AP recognizes their old gear and will support it, and it will be compatible with heavy duty upgrades for the duration.

-Rich

#12 The Ardent

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:02 PM

Barry
What finder bracket and guide scope holder are you using in the pic?

#13 SteveG

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:13 PM

Star 12 ED - Beautiful scope! I wanted it sooooo bad back in the 80's.

#14 BarrySimon615

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 01:32 PM

Barry
What finder bracket and guide scope holder are you using in the pic?


Before I answer your question let me first echo another reply to the original poster and say "ditto". Ditto to the fact that AstroPhysics can still support what they sell 20 years down the line. When I decided to upgrade the focuser it was an easy thing to do, plus there was none of the typical AstroPhysics wait time! :shocked: A new two speed focuser was in my hands about a week after I ordered it and screwed on to the end of the tube interface within minutes. Makes focus more accurate and makes the whole process of using the scope more enjoyable.

Now to the question(s) in quotes - the finder bracket is an Antares. This is a two part bracket. This allows you to change out the bracket shown for the larger bracket (91 mm diameter)in a matter of moments. Note - the current larger bracket has a 91 mm I.D., the larger one that I have has a 94 mm I.D

One thing that I did to the mounting part of the bracket (the part that mounts to the interface between the tube and focuser) was to grind the curve in the bracket to match the curve in the interface, making for a more professional look. Takes some time, but it is worth it. I also cut a little bit off of the front end of the bracket to even better match the top surface of the telescope interface part. I painted the cut end with Krylon Semi-Flat Black which is a good match.

The top bracket holding the 60 mm guide scope pictured is a standard Losmandy set (90 mm rings on standard dovetail bases). You will note on the first picture that the 90 mm rings are mounted in the standard position in the middle of each base. Problem with this is that the lower adjusting screw on the starboard side does interfer with the locking screw on the dovetail base. To "fix" this I did redrill holes in the two dovetail bases to move the ring sets to close to the outside edges of the two bases. This spreads the rings (which is good) and eliminates the interferance between the adjusting screw and the locking screw on the base. I also fastened an aluminum plate between the dovetail bases using the original holes that the rings were in. This makes the whole ring and dovetail base(s) a one piece assembly that lets you take mounting brackets with guidescope and dovetail off the main scope as a unit without each individual base with ring set twisting on you and possibly damaging the finish on the guidescope. This allows for a much faster, cleaner and accident free method of removing or exchanging accessory payloads.

See photo.

Barry Simon

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#15 orlyandico

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 02:25 PM

how much is the AP?

AP refractors tend to appreciate over time, while a 120ED is all downhill from the time you buy it.

#16 John Huntley

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 07:31 PM

Thanks very much for all the feedback on my question folks. It's much appreciated :)

The AP Star 12 ED in question would cost me around 3x as much as I paid for my ED120 (which was pre-owned).

Much to think about !

#17 orlyandico

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:14 PM

hmmm.. mechanical watches are far less accurate than quartz. and they depreciate! (except Rolex, I guess) but people still buy them.

considering the only marginally better performance of the AP, I'd class it similarly - if you're the type who buys mechanical watches, the AP is for you :D it is actually a better deal as the AP won't depreciate, it will probably even appreciate.

#18 t.r.

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:14 AM

Star 12 ED - Beautiful scope! I wanted it sooooo bad back in the 80's.


Me too...but just when I was about to purchase, TV came out with a great deal on the Genesis paired with a 16Nagler to clear the shelves before release of the SDF...I caved! Still, I wish I had bought the AP120...I'd probably still have it as my main refractor. ;)

#19 R Botero

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:59 PM

John

I say, go for it! I came to own a 1992 AP152mm f/7.5 recently which was the first Starfire EDF made and according to some forums one of the only two models made with these specs.
The 6" AP refractor is by far the best telescope I have ever looked through and even on the nights of average to poor seeing we get in England, it is a joy to use.
AP was happy to support its 20+ year product on the phone and by mail whilst I restored it and even had spare parts for the model! It's an exclusive club and you won't be treated by any other company like it - with, perhaps, the exception of Questar.

Good luck!

Roberto

#20 JonM

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:36 PM

If you buy an EON used, you will get your money back and maybe make a hundered. I bought mine for $1100 and sold it for $1300 2.5 years later.

#21 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:46 AM

Star 12 ED - Beautiful scope! I wanted it sooooo bad back in the 80's.


Me too...but just when I was about to purchase, TV came out with a great deal on the Genesis paired with a 16Nagler to clear the shelves before release of the SDF...I caved! Still, I wish I had bought the AP120...I'd probably still have it as my main refractor. ;)


Well, your chance may have arrived - one just popped up on Astromart (and no, it's not mine :grin:).

#22 jrcrilly

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:00 AM

Well, your chance may have arrived - one just popped up on Astromart (and no, it's not mine :grin:).


It's priced way above the market, though.

#23 SteveG

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:49 PM

Yep - Way too high in my opinion. Besides, I'm extremely happy with my ED120 by William Optics.

#24 John Huntley

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 12:04 PM

Thanks for all the replies folks :)

.....I'm extremely happy with my ED120 by William Optics.


Thats what I've decided as well. My Skywatcher ED120 is a fine scope so it's hardly a chore to stick with it :)

#25 Jeff Morgan

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 10:34 PM

It's priced way above the market, though.


Don't look now, but Sale Pending.

I understand your sentiment though. Brandon eyepieces have whetted my appetite for premium minimum-glass eyepieces. It seems to me that all of the recent ads on the Classifieds are about $100 too high so I hesitate or pass - and turn around to see the eyepiece sold.

From what I understand Roland Christen is closer to his 70th birthday than his 60th. The time is coming when he leaves the optical shop for the last time (hopefully to enjoy many years of imaging). Then I suspect that even the early 4" scopes will fetch mid 3's.






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